Israel severs ties with un rights body which tried to block Obama’s trade pacts, says the US “has nothing to gain at all” from TPP and “all to lose” if it goes ahead
The Obama administration has ended formal diplomatic ties with the multilateral trade watchdog group called the World Trade Organization, US trade representatives said.
On Wednesday the Department of Commerce announced the decision as it seeks to ease restrictions on U.S. agricultural exports and US manufacturing as part of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the US trade representative said in a statement.
The US did not directly say why it has taken the step, but US officials said the WTO could be used as a back-door mechanism for trade deals such as TPP to be passed without US input or approval.
In a statement, the administration said it hoped the WTO would remain “the best possible instrument for upholding the rule of law”.
But critics argue trade deals without open US participation would weaken domestic laws and rules, especially as it affects agriculture.
The US trade representative’s move was the first in a string of reforms that the administration hopes will allow trade negotiations to proceed unimpeded, but critics have raised concerns that the process will undermine standards, including labour and environmental standards.
“The Obama administration has made no secret of its intent to gut the TPP and will now use WTO as a way to sabotage trade and weaken environmental and labor standards,” said Steve Dokko, director of campaigns at Americans for Financial Reform (AFT), an environmental group.
AnAtheists.org, a leading US trade group, said it would continue to press for the Obama administration to uphold its end of the deal. “It is not up to government officials to make trade rules. It is up to people,” it said in a statement.
Critics of TPP have also c바카라사이트omplained that US negotiators are giving more leeway to non-members of the WTO, but most countries have not signed on to the deal.
The US, however, has insisted that the trade deal will be far less restrictive than the deal that was signed by President George W Bush in 2001 and then ratified by President Barack Obama.